Board & Governance

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated on the 2nd June 1945 and is a registered charity with the Revenue Commissioners and the Charity Regulator. IFI Council members are drawn from a broad community of cultural practitioners, broadcasters and educators, with a particularly strong representation from the film community in Ireland and the current membership list is available here.

IFI is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors; a full list of current Directors’ biographies can be found below.

IFI is committed to a culture of good governance and transparency and our statement of compliance with the governance code for community, voluntary and charity organisations in Ireland can be found here.

IFI operates in accordance with its governing document, available here.

The Enterprise and Governance Working Group advises the Board on financial and governance matters, and the terms of reference can be found here.

The Institute keeps detailed books and records and maintains strict financial controls, with audited financial statements available for 20142015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities is accepted as best practice in the preparation of financial statements and we incorporate elements of the SORP into these financial statements and work with our Auditors towards full compliance.

IFI is open, honest and fully transparent in its fundraising activities, the proceeds of which all go towards its core activities of Exhibition, Preservation and Education. IFI is committed to complying with the Statement for Guiding Principles for Fundraising and has formally discussed and adopted the Statement at a meeting of the IFI Board. See full statement here. Senior Management salary bands are here.

The policy for dealing with complaints to the Irish Film Institute can be found here.



A native of Dublin, Abrahamson studied philosophy at Trinity, where he co-founded the Trinity Video Company. This entry into filmmaking led to his first short, 3 Joes, which won a number of awards at European festivals. His first feature Adam and Paul premiered in 2004, followed by Garage in 2007. Abrahamson’s What Richard Did wowed critics and audiences alike and was a huge hit at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival and the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Frank, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Fassbender, opened in cinemas to critical acclaim in 2014. Room, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her novel and starring Brie Larson, William H Macy and Joan Allen, was released in 2015 and was nominated for four Oscars. Following 2018’s The Little Stranger, Lenny has recently completed work on an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, Normal People. Lenny has been on the IFI Board since 16th September 2014.


Michael is a Senior Counsel practising in the fields of commercial litigation, EU law and arbitration. He is a graduate of University College Dublin with Master’s degrees in both economics and law. He graduated with an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Finance before joining the New York law firm of Shearman and Sterling. He returned to Ireland in 1981 to commence practice at the Irish Bar. A member of the England, Northern Ireland, New York and US Supreme Court Bars, Michael also practices from Monckton Chambers in London.

In 1996 he was appointed by the Irish Government as Chairman of the Competition and Mergers Review Group the majority of whose recommendations were subsequently implemented into Irish law in the Competition Act 2002. Michael also appears in commercial arbitration (domestic and international) both as counsel and as arbitrator. He has had appointments as arbitrator from the ICC Court of Arbitration, the London Court of International Arbitration, and is one of Ireland’s representatives on the ICC Commission on Arbitration. He is also a member of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Panel of Arbitrators and is a former President of Arbitration Ireland.

Michael is Chairman of the Irish Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (Irish Sports Council), former President of Irish Rule of Law International, and a former Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland. He was elected a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns in 2007 and the following year was elected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in the United States of which he is also a director. Michael has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Maynooth University on Legal Aspects of Competition and Regulation in Maynooth’s Master of Economic Science Programme. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Law at UCD Sutherland Law School.

In the much more interesting parts of his life he is a board member of All Hallows College, a former Council member of the Dublin Theatre Festival, a member of the Wexford Opera Development Council and, in his spare time, plays the piano exceedingly badly. Michael has been on the IFI Board since 15th October 2012.


Adrian is an Honours Law Graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, a barrister-at-law, and a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and the Irish Taxation Institute.  He is also a former President of the Irish Taxation Institute, the premier body representing tax professionals in Ireland. He is a former tax partner in KPMG and was based in the US for half of his time for the past 10 years, advising many of the large US groups with operations in Ireland. He now acts as a consultant and still spends significant amounts of time in the US. He has had an interest in the arts generally for many years, was on the board of Cooperation Ireland for a decade, and has been involved in fund raising for various philanthropic organisations over the years. Adrian has been on the IFI Board since July 2017.


After studying for a BA (History and Archaeology) in UCD, Sheila de Courcy spent almost 6 months working in Dublin Public Libraries followed by 6 years working in the Art and Industry division of the National Museum of Ireland. She joined RTÉ in 1986, and worked largely in TV, but also in Radio, producing, directing and commissioning programmes of all types, from drama and current affairs to arts and entertainment. Appointed Controller, RTÉjr and Cross Divisional Head of Children’s Content in 2012, Sheila managed RTÉ’s output for young people across all platforms. While working in RTÉ, Sheila studied for a Diploma in Film Production, DIT, as well as a post-grad Diploma in Adult Education and Community Development, NUIM. Sheila loves to recharge her batteries by walking in the hills, swimming in the sea, playing music, singing in a choir and just hanging out with Family and friends. Sheila was re-joined the IFI Board in June 2020.


Torlach Denihan is employed by Ibec and since 1993 has served as Director of several Ibec industry representative bodies including Retail Ireland, which he established, the Audiovisual Federation, Financial Services Ireland, the Telecommunications and Internet Federation and Private Hospitals Ireland. During his career with Ibec, Torlach has represented Irish businesses, home grown and multinational, large and small, to government ministers, political parties, TDs, senators, Members of the European Parliament, Oireachtas Committees, senior civil servants, regulators, state agencies, local authorities, the European Commission, European trade associations including Business Europe, and in the media.

Prior to joining Ibec, Torlach worked on marketing and business development with one of Ireland’s largest companies and in the Department of Finance. He obtained an M.A. from University College Dublin and an M.B.A. from Dublin City University and was previously a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies and ECDL Ireland. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Yazda UK, the Yazidi NGO that assists survivors of genocide and human trafficking. In this latter capacity he has engaged with the European Parliament, the European Commission, the foreign ministries of several European countries and worked as a member of the support team of Nadia Murad, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Torlach has been on the IFI Board since July 2017.


Neasa is a BAFTA-winning Director and Writer for film and television drama. Early in her career, Neasa made award-winning documentaries with RTÉ, as well as designing the national broadcaster’s logo and branding. She moved into drama as the youngest ever director of RTÉ serial drama Fair City. This led to writing and directing for the theatre in her native Dublin and then to commissions with BBC, Channel Four, Amazon and Netflix. Her feature début Sea Fever screened to critical acclaim on the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival 2019, It was released digitally across the US on April 10th 2020, becoming one of the top five digital downloads, then across Europe April 24th 2020, before its release in Russia, China and Australia. Neasa was recently commissioned by Dreamworks to adapt a noir thriller for the big screen. In 2017, Neasa was awarded a BAFTA for the gritty murder drama Happy Valley (BBC / Netflix), before directing the finale of noir superhero drama Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix). Neasa teamed with Killer Films and Amazon to direct the 1920s story of Zelda Sayre and her troubling life with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Z: The Beginning of Everything, starring Christina Ricci. Her earlier works include the two-hour story finale for BAFTA-nominated homicide thriller Scott & Bailey and acclaimed BBC six-part drama In The Club. While she was still at college, Neasa founded creative design consultancy Language Communications with Adam May. In 2015, she founded major new national initiative Big Stories on the Small Screen, aimed at increasing global opportunities for Irish screenwriters and directors. Neasa is bilingual in German, she speaks French and Irish as well as her native English. Neasa has been on the IFI Board since August 2020.


Margaret Kelleher is Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin where her research fields include Irish literary and cultural history, women’s writings, and digital humanities. She was founding director of An Foras Feasa Institute at Maynooth University from 2007-2012 and joined the IFI Board in 2012. She is a member of Science Europe’s international humanities committee and was a national representative to the European Science Foundation from 2007-2012. She is President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures and member of the board of the Irish Theatre Institute. Margaret has been on the IFI Board since 15th October 2012.


John McGrane is Director General of The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, a private sector organisation which he co-founded in 2011 to represent businesses with interests in the two islands and their economies. He is a retired financial services professional having completed a 40 year career with the Royal Bank of Scotland / Ulster Bank Group in Ireland. His career has spanned substantial initiatives in the enterprise and corporate sectors, both indigenous and foreign direct investment.

He is Founder of NSI Technology, a tech start-up which helps Not For Profits become Not For Losses. He is a Board Director at Dublin Chamber of Commerce and at The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and a number of charities. He retains active roles in the Cultural, Tourism and Trade Development sectors, having served on a number of related Boards and Government taskforces. He joined the IFI Board in June 2020.


Biog tbc


Kevin was Managing Director of Ardmore Studios until his retirement in 2012. Over 40 years in the film industry, including several in freelance production working on films such as John Boorman’s Excalibur and Neil Jordan’s Angel. Former Chairman of the Irish Film and Television Guild, Film Makers Ireland (now Screen Producers Ireland), Media Desk Ireland and the Kerry Screen Commission. Kevin also served on the Boards of the Irish Film Commission and the Wicklow Film Commission. A member of the 1992 Taoiseach’s Special Working Group on the film industry and of the Strategic Review Group which produced the Kilkenny Report. Kevin served two terms as a member of the Irish Film Board from 2005 to 2013, and he has been on the IFI Board since 21st January 2009.


Patrick O’Neill is the Managing Director of Wildcard Distribution, an Irish-based film distribution company with credits including The Young Offenders, Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Moonlight, Cardboard Gangsters and Extra Ordinary.  Patrick has over 15 years of experience in the film industry including seven years working in business affairs at the Irish Film Board (IFB, now Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann). Prior to the IFB, Patrick worked in international sales and film production, and has an M.Sc. in Cyberpsychology, an M.A. in Audiovisual Management, and a B.A. in Business Studies. Patrick joined the IFI Board in July 2017.


Terence was appointed Chairman of Enterprise Ireland in August 2013 and was previously Managing Partner of KPMG Ireland. He is a director of Hibernia REIT plc and of Irish Times Ltd. Terence joined KPMG Ireland in 1975, became an audit partner in 1988 and was elected Managing Partner in 2006. He was a member of KPMG’s Global Board, Global Executive Team and EMA Board, from 2007 to 2013. Terence is a Fellow, and was President (2004/2005) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is currently Chairman of Enactus Ireland, a member of the Council of the Irish Management Institute, the Governing Authority of Dublin City University. He also sits on the boards of The Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and the Institute of International and European Affairs. He chaired the 2014 Strategic Review Group for the Arts Council. Terence graduated from University College Dublin with a B.A. in Economics and History. Terence has been on the IFI Board since 10th September 2014.


Dearbhla Walsh is an Irish TV and film director. In 2009, she won an Emmy for her direction of the BBC’s multi-award nominated Charles Dicken’s Little Dorrit. She has directed the BAFTA winning Shameless, Funland and Custer’s Last Stand Up. She was cited by the industry bible, Broadcast Magazine, as one of the Top Ten Drama directors in the UK. Most recently, she has directed episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Penny Dreadful and The Borgias and has also directed a BBC adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench. Dearbhla has been on the IFI Board since 15th October 2012.


Irish director Juanita Wilson’s first film The Door won numerous awards and festivals throughout the world, and was nominated for an Oscar in 2010. Her debut feature film, As If I Am Not There, which went on to win many awards including the prestigious Jury Prize Silver Pyramid at the Cairo International Film Festival in December 2010 and the The Human Rights Film Award of The Council of Europe at the Istanbul Film Festival 2011, along with a record three IFTAs for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards in February 2011.

Juanita was named among Variety’s top ten directors to watch for in 2011, the only woman to feature on the list. Her most recent film Tomato Red, adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s noir novel, has screened at various festivals in the US and Europe and was released by Studio Canal. It was listed in the top ten films directed by women in 2017 by The Movie Waffler. She is currently developing a number of projects: an original US war story Right Of the Boom based on the contemporary memoir Unremarried Widow by Artis Henderson; and a film about Irish taxi driver Derek Devoy’s role in suicide prevention in Kilkenny. Juanita has been on the IFI Board since July 2019.


The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland